The current pavement design method utilized by the SDDOT is extensively based on empirical standards developed by the AASHO road test conducted in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Climatic limitations, advancements in material science, and ever-changing vehicular designs, as well as ever-increasing traffic volumes and weight distributions, have all served to make these types of empirical data archaic. The SDDOT has initiated, and is currently pursuing a research project evaluating incorporation of the M-E/PDG.
The M-E Pavement Design Guide will tie together structural design, materials selection and construction parameters assuring that design criteria have been met or exceeded. Many ranges of inputs are available in the M-E/PDG pavement design process, including those that can be tailored and adjusted for South Dakota's unique materials, traffic, and climatic conditions, with the ultimate aims being to improve pavement designs, extend the pavement service lifespan, and thereby foster more cost effective pavement solutions.